Killer gets 45 years for Laurens double murder

Deshanndon Markelle Franks
Deshanndon Markelle Franks

Laurens, S.C. – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a Cross Hill man was sentenced to 45 years for his role in the 2014 murder of a man and his niece.

A Laurens County jury returned guilty verdicts for Deshanndon Markelle Franks on two counts of murder and one count of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

The jury deliberated for about eight hours across two days before returning the guilty verdicts.

Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. then handed down a sentence of 45 years in prison on each of the two murder charges and five years in prison on the charge of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

The sentences will run concurrently. Prosecutors said Franks was the trigger man in the January 31, 2014 shooting deaths of 47-year-old Sammie Dyron Leake and his niece, 24-year-old Nikesha Travarea James.

They say he was present at the time of the murder was Tevin Oneil Hill.

Hill testified against Franks during the four day trial, according to the solicitor.

Hill’s charges, which are the same as Franks’, are still pending.

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